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For the later Genesis Collection reissue, see RG550L.
1990 RG550L BK
RG550L Black (1990) (more images) Red copyright sprite

The RG550L is a solid body electric guitar model introduced by Ibanez in 1988. It was made in Japan by FujiGen as part of the Roadstar II series which evolved into the RG series.

The RG550L features a basswood body bolted to a thin, flat Wizard maple neck with a 24-fret fingerboard with dot position markers. It has dual Ibanez humbucking pickups flanking an Ibanez single-coil, which are mounted to a black pickguard. Other components include a Floyd Rose-style double locking tremolo bridge and a locking nut.

Prior to 1992 the bridge was the original Edge tremolo. In 1992, the new Lo-Pro Edge was used. The 1988 models have color-matching headstocks except for the white finish (which has a black headstock).

The RG550 is a right-handed version. The RG570L is a similar model without the pickguard.

The RG550L was discontinued after 1992. The somewhat similar RG470L was introduced in 1993. A new RG550L was introduced in 2018 as part of the Genesis collection.

Specifications

Specifications for RG550L (1988–1992)
Model name: RG550L (1988–1992)
Year(s) produced: 1988–1992
Sold in: Worldwide
Made in: Japan
Finish(es): Black (BK) / Candy Apple (CA) 1991 / Coral Mist Metallic (CM) 1990 / Desert Sun Yellow (DY) 1988–1989 / Five Alarm Red (FA) 1990 / Purple Neon (PN) 1991–1992 / Road Flare Red (RF) 1988 / White (WH) 1988
Body
Body type:
Solid body
Body material:
Basswood
Neck joint:
Tilt Joint
Bridge:
1988–1991: Edge
1992: Lo-Pro Edge
Pickguard:
Black
Hardware color:
Black
Neck
Neck type:
Wizard
Neck material:
1988–1991: 1-piece maple
1992: 1-piece quartersawn maple
Scale length:
648mm/ 25½"
Fingerboard material:
1988: Maple or rosewood (see below)
1989–1992: Maple
Fingerboard inlays:
Dot
Frets:
24 / jumbo
Nut:
Top-Lok III
Machine heads:
Gotoh SG38 non-locking
Electronics
Pickup configuration:
HSH
Bridge pickup:
Ibanez V2 (H)
Middle pickup:
Ibanez S1 (S)
Neck pickup:
Ibanez V1 (H)
Controls:
Master volume / master tone / 5-way lever

Fretboard material

In 1988, the RG550L with the black finish was offered with a choice of rosewood or maple fingerboard. These are distinguished with an "-R" or "-M" suffix in the model number. All other colors were offered only with maple fretboards. Starting in 1989 all RG550Ls had maple fingerboards.

Rare/unusual finishes

Both the Candy Apple and Purple Neon finishes are considered to be very rare to non-existent as they are almost never encountered on the secondary market. It's conceivable that the Candy Apple finish is confused by owners for one of the other shades of red (Five Alarm or Road Flare), or that the guitars were simply not produced in that finish despite its appearance in the catalog.

There have only been a handful of RG550Ls spotted "in the wild" with the white finish.

Note about serial numbers

Main article: Ibanez serial numbers

The RG550L was produced in Japan by FujiGen and as such they bear serial numbers that start with "F" followed by six numeric digits. The first of these numbers indicates the last digit of the year of manufacture.

However, models produced through 1988 (and perhaps into 1989) have serial numbers starting with "F7" which would normally indicate production in 1987. It seems that FujiGen or Ibanez produced an oversupply of these "F7" serial number stickers and so just continued to use them through 1988. Any RG550L with a serial number starting in "F7" should be considered a 1988 (or perhaps even a 1989) model.

Images

Other available finishes
1988 RG550L-R BK
RG550L Black w/ rosewood (1988)
1992 RG550L PN
RG550L Purple Neon (1992)
1988 RG550L DY
RG550L Desert Sun Yellow[1]
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An image of the RG550L Candy Apple (CA), Coral Mist Metallic (CM), Road Flare Red (RF) and White (WH) is wanted for this article. You can help by finding, uploading and adding it!
User images
P1010007
1990 RG550L headstock
P1010013
1990 RG550L in case
P1010014
1990 RG550L rear
P1010005
1990 RG550L body
Rosewood RG 550L
RG550L w/ rosewood fretboard

Sources

  1. image courtesy Chris2vic
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